To the everyday hard worker, time management almost sounds like a myth sometimes. With every new day at work comes an added pile of never-ending tasks that never fail to overwhelm even the most diligent of us all.
Work productivity can be impossible without proper time management and organization. Even working long hours and sometimes spending the night at the office may never be enough which will in turn leave you unhappy and unfulfilled because you feel like there is still so much you have not done.
We have put together a short list of a few surefire ways to ensure you are at your peak productivity while effectively managing your time in both your personal life and your work.
- Pick Your Battles
Figure out tasks that are absolutely necessary for that day or week and get to them. These tasks are the ones that if left undone will put you in a great deal of trouble. Prioritize.
Work with the 80:20 rule every day; give higher priority to tasks that will give you 80% productivity with 20% effort.
You will find that even superheroes have to decide on which villain to fight at a time.
- Time your work
24 hours never feels like enough hours when you’re drowning in work. It’s always smart to break your work into timed intervals so you can get more done in less time. Give yourself an hour to work on that presentation, or 30 minutes to update that excel sheet. This way, once you know you absolutely have to get that task done at so-so time and within so-so time interval, you’re propelled towards productivity.
In the case of difficult tasks however, you may find that the work is taking longer than you expected and will therefore have to move things around to accommodate for that time. Always remember to leave adequate time slots for short (and long) breaks.
- It’s alright to say no
We already stated that you do not have to take on every task that comes your way. This means that you have to be strong enough to say no when the need arises. Your overbearing boss may be giving you a hard time and telling you to carry out a hundred tasks within an hour, learn to speak up for yourself when you find that you are drowning.
You could point out that so-so task will take you longer and you therefore will need more time, keep in mind that you have to be able to back up your claim that these tasks are truly as challenging.
Part of learning to say no is also learning to delegate; yes indeed Super(man/woman), you are truly allowed to delegate when need be.
- Zone out
Put down your phone. Close all of your browser tabs. Basically, anything that will distract you is the villain is this time management battle of ours. Focus wholly and completely on whatever task you have at hand and zone out on everything else. And if like me, you are a sucker for perfection, you will also want to avoid overthinking and letting unimportant details get in the way of your work, these minute details will do nothing but slow down your productivity.
You could find a quiet spot in your office where you won’t have to talk to so many people and you could work uninterrupted for a few hours if need be, let’s call it your “zone out spot”.
An important part of time management is realizing that once you create your schedule and you decide to stick to these rules, you cannot go back. You do not want to take one step in the right direction only to go back to your old ways. Commit to prioritizing your work, delegating and knowing when to zone out on distractions. Self-discipline is really just key here.